|Pre-Natal and Post-Partum Massage
|Being pregnant is a joyous occasion, whether it’s a first time pregnancy or not. It’s the miraculous, yet tremendous changes that
occur within a woman’s body during pregnancy that can be challenging. Discomforts may arise as a result of the body’s efforts
to accommodate the pregnancy. Massage is a great way to help alleviate some of those discomforts. Massage helps to target
and reduce stress (both physical and mental/emotional), bring about relaxation and to help prepare the muscles of the body for
a healthier delivery.
Just as every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, even for a woman who is not experiencing a first time pregnancy.
There are several modalities of massage therapy and the techniques used in massage each have a purpose to help address
issues presenting in the body especially during pregnancy. Some of the conditions that massage can help alleviate during
- Congested sinuses
- Low back pain/discomfort
- Muscular aches and pains
- Swelling in the extremities (hands & feet)
- Trouble sleeping
Pre-Natal massage offers the use of several varying techniques while targeting the physiological aspects of pregnancy. By
manipulating the soft tissue of the body, massage helps to rid the body of wastes and toxins while increasing the blood flow to
the body’s tissues delivering oxygen and nutrient to maintain health. Massage can also provide a nurturing, supportive
environment, helping the mother-to-be to experience a peaceful bond with her unborn child as both mother and child reap the
soothing benefits of the massage. Studies have shown that massage during pregnancy may also offer the following benefits:
- Decrease anxiety
- Improve mood
- Decrease sleeplessness
- Alleviate back pain
- Reduce some complications during labor
- Increase the bond between mother and child
- Decrease leg pain and swelling
- Decrease uterine stress hormones
Further studies have shown an incidence for less premature births and fewer postnatal complications for women who receive
massage regularly throughout the pregnancy.
By receiving massage on a regular basis before delivery, a woman will actually help to increase her healing time after childbirth.
For every mother with a new baby, there is much to be done and many tasks to be undertaken all while the mothers body is still
healing from giving birth. Massage is a wonderful avenue to travel during this healing stage. Continuing after childbirth with
post-natal massage helps the woman to acclimate her body to its pre-pregnancy stage by assisting with improving blood
circulation and decreasing muscular strains caused during delivery. Post-natal massage can also help in the event of scarring
as a result of a Cesarean procedure. And let’s not forget the wonderful nurturing, relaxing benefits that massage will offer to the
new mother as she adjusts to life with a new baby. Post-natal massage can be administered as early as a few hours after the
delivery and continue on indefinitely.
Precautions of Pre-natal Massage
While massage is a wonderful gift to give ones self, there are a few situations where massage would not be advisable for the
pregnant woman. Consulting with your doctor prior to receiving massage is always advised. If required, a massage therapist
may need permission from the attending physician before administering a massage. If any of the following conditions are
present, massage is not indicated at this time in the pregnancy:
- Abdominal pain
- High Blood Pressure
- Vaginal Discharge (bloody or watery)
- Diabetes (all types)
- No fetal movement within a 24 hour period
If and when any of these conditions are no longer prevalent, massage may be indicated, and it is best to receive your doctors
approval for massage after any of these conditions has been alleviated.
Massage during pregnancy is a great way to keep the mothers body relaxed and helps the mother prepare for the childbirth and
recovery stage, known as post-partum. While massage is beneficial pre-natal, it is just as beneficial after childbirth while the
mother's body is struggling to return to it's pre-pregnancy state. While hormone levels change and the body is relieved of the
strain of weight bearing, the body is still in need of stress reduction and nurturing to facilitate healing. Even in cases of cesarean
births, the mother can still benefit from post-partum massage as a means of regaining balance in both body and mind and to
facilitate the healing phase. As a benefit of post partum massage, the mother can reduce the stress caused by disrupted sleep
patterns, adjusting to new responsibilities and the adjusting of her everyday routines. Physically, the mother can be brought
back into awareness of her body as it begins to return to a more normal center of gravity and she will feel more confident as
those changes take place.
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Middletown, CT 06457
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